Page last updated at 17:07 GMT, Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Select Committee

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Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward used a session with the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee on 3 March 2010 to give his backing to a deal on policing and justice devolution.

He urged members of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) to back a deal to devolve policing issues to the assembly in a vote on 9 March.

The agreement came after 10 days of talks between DUP, Sinn Fein, other Northern Ireland parties and the British and Irish Prime Ministers.

If passed, the new Justice Minister is expected to be David Ford, the leader of the non-sectarian Alliance Party.

Mr Woodward described the forthcoming vote as "the most important vote the assembly has ever taken and possibly ever will".

He claimed that the agreement could lead to further funding for the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI).

The committee also dealt with the recent car bomb in Newry, which Mr Woodward described as an attempt to undermine the political process.

Northern Ireland committee membership

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